UCS Performance Manager

Today I deployed UCS Performance Manager.  At first glance It appears to be a customized version of Zenoss with all the UCS goodies built into it so you can graph and trend over time the different metrics made available by the UCS API.  Therefore there is no agents that need to be installed.  I’m a big fan of agentless management tools.

There are two editions.  The first is the full edition (UCS-PM-IE) that allows you to monitor Cisco switches, Storage, and Hypervisors.  There is also an entry level license (UCS-PM-EE) that is just UCS.  The licensing model is “per-server”.  The UCS only license is about 1/3 the cost the price of the full edition.

The servers must be managed by UCS Manager.  Stand alone servers are not supported at this time.  (So use the UCS Integrated Management Controller Supervisor instead).  The reason for this I’m guessing is because UCS Performance Manager talks to UCS Manager and hasn’t been expanded to talk directly to the CIMC, though I could see that changing.

Installation

UCS Performance Manager comes packaged as an OVA file.  You can download it directly from Cisco’s website.  You’ll need a free eval license to run it to try it out, so talk to your Cisco account manager to get one of these licenses.

Deployment is easy, as its just an ova.  Once the system boots up you can login to the console to configure the IP address that you want to use.

The default login is root / zenoss.  You’ll have to change the password immediately upon logging in, so even if you use DHCP, please don’t forget to do this step!

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Once you set up the network, the time, and all that good stuff, you can go into the system and start configuring it.  I rebooted mine first, then started the configuration process.

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Open a web browser to the URL you see on the console.  you get in you’ll see a screen that guides you through the setup.  Pretty easy just entering in all the fields.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 8.29.31 AMIn my case I made it to step 2 and realized I didn’t have the product key.  When I went back and actually had the key, my session logged me out!  I tried a few passwords and realized that the admin password was just zenoss.

After adding a few devices and changing some passwords I get a nice view of the environment

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The rest of the time is just clicking and viewing performance metrics of different devices.  I find this to be a good place to look for network traffic.  If you are familiar with rrdtool then you’ll recognize where these graphs come from.  Still, its very functional.

Another cool spot is the topology view

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I can see that I have a problem with my SAN connection pretty quickly.

All in all, UCS Performance manager is a pretty good piece of equipment that I wouldn’t hesitate to add to any UCS purchase I was making.  Its pretty inexpensive and can help you understand your applications a bit better.  It’s also worth mentioning this can run on Hyper-V.